This weekend there were protests around the world against the impending bombing of Iraq. In London, more than 2000 attended anti war demonstrations. In Italy, there were demonstrations in 10 cities.
The Italian government, threatened with possible collapse over the Iraqi crisis, breathed a sigh of relief today after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan clinched a deal with Baghdad that may avert air strikes. Prodi’s 22 month old centre left coaltion risked splitting apart over Iraq if the government had allowed the use of air bases on its territory for US led strikes.
The left party Communist Refoundation, which is not part of the government but guarantees Prodi’s majority in the Italian Parliament, also said it would not back the government if it allowed air bases in Italy to be used.
In the event of such a strike, the casualties in Iraq could well include 22 Italian peace activists who are traveling to Iraq today to act as "human shields" in the event of a US attack.
- Ornella San Giovanni, Spokeswoman for "A Bridge to Baghdad", an Italian NGO in solidarity with the people of Iraq and member of a delegation en route to Baghdad to act as "human shields" in the event of a US bombing.
- Hugh Stephens, anti-war activist from the Proposal for an Ad Hoc Committee, working with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the National Peace Council in England. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.